3 Ways to Power Through the Rest of the Workday When You Don’t Want to Work Anymore

 

 

It’s Tuesday at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. You just got back from your weekly Taco Tuesday lunch with your favorite coworkers, you’re full and happy.

 

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You’ve accomplished a lot today, including getting that big presentation off to your boss, who thinks it totally rocks! You’ve got a few more things due by the end of the day and you know exactly what you need to do to get them done.

You can’t wait to cross them off your list with your pink glitter pen.

There’s just one problem.

You don’t want to work anymore.

Before you spend the rest of your day mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed for the billionth time, try one of these tried and true (and ridiculously easy) ways to power through the rest of your day without spraining your ankle or breaking a sweat:

 

  1. Change your scenery

Go outside for a quick walk and settle back into your desk. Better yet, go work outside if you can or find the closest, most inspiring café and stimulate your brain into working.

Book yourself a conference room or sit somewhere you don’t normally sit. The change will re-activate your brain, and get you mentally moving.

If you sit in an open office, this is a must.

 

  1. Get some fuel

With food and music. Skip the high octane energy drinks or your fifth coffee and opt for water, a green juice, and eat a piece of real food – think, nuts, seeds, veggies. Avoid the crash and save the sugar for after work. Then create a mental cue it’s time to work – headphones on, head down…and blast off!

 

  1. Trick yourself

Rewarding yourself is a fun way to play games with yourself to get shit done. Promise yourself when you finish your tasks and power through the rest of the day you’ll reward your hard work and head straight for some fro-yo, or happy hour, whichever is closer.

 

If all of these suggestions fail, consider going home. Maybe your brain really is fried from your hectic morning.

Your tired body and mind is ineffective and extra likely to make mistakes. Mistakes that could be costly and time-consuming to fix tomorrow. Blech!

Be honest with your work peeps, remind them what you accomplished this morning and tell them you need a mental break. Make yourself available if your team needs to reach you and promise to check in tonight, or come back after a great night’s sleep relaxed and refreshed and ready to take on a new day in the morning.

They’ll appreciate the honesty, and probably don’t want to deal with the hassle of reworking your sub-par work anyway.

Hair down, bottoms up, rest up, come back and be your amazing self in the morning.

 

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How to meditate if you’re a mom

 

 

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Things we know are good for us but don’t do enough of:

  • Exercise
  • Drink less wine
  • Put money away
  • Meditate

Today I’m going to talk about the last one – meditation. I’m not going to address the other three because I haven’t figured them out yet.

It’s not that I have meditation all figured out either. I’ve tried it and I can tell you it feels good and I want more. But with little kids around, I don’t know how to get more of it.

Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths has its benefits; getting in touch with your inner-self, keeping calm, and deepening your breathing, which will increase your mental focus and make you a happier person to be around.

In the short run, it’ll help you stay sane so maybe you’ll make it through a whole day without yelling at the kids and feeling bad about it.

Easy enough.

Except you have kids! Who has time to meditate?

When you wake up in the morning and you realize you’re the first one awake you practically bounce out of bed. ALONE TIME! WEEEEE!!!!

You rush to your butt to your meditation pillow, settle in…breathe in… ahhhhhhh….

Then you hear a noise from the bedroom, followed by what sounds like elephant feet.

“My bed is wet.”

Sigh.

“Me” time is over. Total pillow time – 6 seconds.

You want to meditate, but the kids have other plans.

So why not work in little bursts of mindfulness throughout your day?

 

Here are seven practical tips to meditate while you mom:

  1. Steal a moment among the madness.

When you notice a moment when the kids are calm and quiet, close your eyes wherever you are and take a few breaths. Feel their presence. Feel how grateful you are to have these crazy little nuggets in your life.

  1. Meditate with the kids.

If your kids are old enough to close their eyes and sit criss-cross-applesauce on the floor, they can meditate with you. Sit together on the floor with the TV and other distractions quieted. Tell your kids exactly what’s going to happen next. Close your eyes together and guide them through some deep breathing. Walking them through it as their guide will be a calming experience for both of you.

  1. Do it in the bathroom.

You’re alone anyway. Stop using this time to check Facebook and instead use it for a quick sanity break. When you’re in the shower, or even sitting on the toilet. Close your eyes, pay close attention to your breathe. You’ll emerge from the loo feeling like a new person.

  1. In the car.

Please keep your eyes open at all times when you’re driving the car. Except if you find yourself at your destination early, and the kids asleep. Don’t let this moment pass you by! Turn some calming music on and enjoy the moment of meditative bliss.

If the car is in motion, you can practice mindfulness with your eyes open. As you travel along, focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, shoulders back, inhale, exhale, and repeat. Doesn’t that feel good?

  1. Take a walk.

Walking meditation is the new black. Even if you have kids with you, you can point out interesting things along the walk; a funny shaped rock, a chipmunk, how the bark on that tree over there looks different from all the others. The goal is to relax and connect with nature, your kids, and yourself.

  1. When you sit down to dinner.

When you all sit down to dinner you can take a moment to be grateful even if you’re not the praying kind. Silent your phone, light a candle, sit down and just enjoy two breaths focusing on your food before you start. You can do this as a family or do it alone – no one will know. Take one mindful inhale and one mindful exhale, in your head, say, “thank you”, then enjoy your food using all the senses you used to prepare the meal.

Take a bite of food, and pay attention to what the food feels like and tastes like.

  1. In bed.

Before you get out of bed in the morning, linger for just a minute. Set a simple intention for the day, like, “today I’ll keep calm when the kids fight.” Then smile to yourself and enjoy the day.

You can do something similar before bed too. Take a few minutes to think about the three best things that happened today, jot them down in a notebook if you like. As you lay there before you drift off to sleep consciously relax every part of your body, starting with your toes, working your way to your head – if you even make it there before you enter dreamland.

Things we know are good for us but don’t do enough of:

  • Exercise
  • Drink less wine
  • Put money away
  • Meditate

Today I’m going to talk about the last one – meditation. I’m not going to address the other three because I haven’t figured them out yet.

It’s not that I have meditation all figured out either. I’ve tried it and I can tell you it feels good and I want more. But with little kids around, I don’t know how to get more of it.

Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths has its benefits; getting in touch with your inner-self, keeping calm, and deepening your breathing, which will increase your mental focus and make you a happier person to be around.

In the short run, it’ll help you stay sane so maybe you’ll make it through a whole day without yelling at the kids and feeling bad about it.

Easy enough.

Except you have kids! Who has time to meditate?

When you wake up in the morning and you realize you’re the first one awake you practically bounce out of bed. ALONE TIME! WEEEEE!!!!

You rush to your butt to your meditation pillow, settle in…breathe in… ahhhhhhh….

Then you hear a noise from the bedroom, followed by what sounds like elephant feet.

“My bed is wet.”

Sigh.

“Me” time is over. Total pillow time – 6 seconds.

You want to meditate, but the kids have other plans.

So why not work in little bursts of mindfulness throughout your day?

 

Here are seven practical tips to meditate while you mom:

  1. Steal a moment among the madness.

When you notice a moment when the kids are calm and quiet, close your eyes wherever you are and take a few breaths. Feel their presence. Feel how grateful you are to have these crazy little nuggets in your life.

  1. Meditate with the kids.

If your kids are old enough to close their eyes and sit criss-cross-applesauce on the floor, they can meditate with you. Sit together on the floor with the TV and other distractions quieted. Tell your kids exactly what’s going to happen next. Close your eyes together and guide them through some deep breathing. Walking them through it as their guide will be a calming experience for both of you.

  1. Do it in the bathroom.

You’re alone anyway. Stop using this time to check Facebook and instead use it for a quick sanity break. When you’re in the shower, or even sitting on the toilet. Close your eyes, pay close attention to your breathe. You’ll emerge from the loo feeling like a new person.

  1. In the car.

Please keep your eyes open at all times when you’re driving the car. Except if you find yourself at your destination early, and the kids asleep. Don’t let this moment pass you by! Turn some calming music on and enjoy the moment of meditative bliss.

If the car is in motion, you can practice mindfulness with your eyes open. As you travel along, focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, shoulders back, inhale, exhale, and repeat. Doesn’t that feel good?

  1. Take a walk.

Walking meditation is the new black. Even if you have kids with you, you can point out interesting things along the walk; a funny shaped rock, a chipmunk, how the bark on that tree over there looks different from all the others. The goal is to relax and connect with nature, your kids, and yourself.

  1. When you sit down to dinner.

When you all sit down to dinner you can take a moment to be grateful even if you’re not the praying kind. Silent your phone, light a candle, sit down and just enjoy two breaths focusing on your food before you start. You can do this as a family or do it alone – no one will know. Take one mindful inhale and one mindful exhale, in your head, say, “thank you”, then enjoy your food using all the senses you used to prepare the meal.

Take a bite of food, and pay attention to what the food feels like and tastes like.

  1. In bed.

Before you get out of bed in the morning, linger for just a minute. Set a simple intention for the day, like, “today I’ll keep calm when the kids fight.” Then smile to yourself and enjoy the day.

You can do something similar before bed too. Take a few minutes to think about the three best things that happened today, jot them down in a notebook if you like. As you lay there before you drift off to sleep consciously relax every part of your body, starting with your toes, working your way to your head – if you even make it there before you enter dreamland.

 

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What I Learned After A Facebook-Free Weekend

 

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Facebook is a problem for me. I admit it.

On the phone.

While watching TV.

Waiting for dinner to cook.

While eating dinner.

While brushing my teeth.

Waiting in line for anything.

Anytime I find an idle moment, including idling at a stoplight, I’m checking, checking checking.

Boredom.

We don’t know to be bored anymore. I certainly haven’t.

Thing is, I didn’t like the person I was with all this checking. I also, have more pressing shit to do, that’s not getting done.

I’m working on a book. I asked myself if checking Facebook is helping me reach my goal of getting my little book done and out into the world.

It’s not.

I decided to have a Facebook-free weekend to see how I felt. I had no other goal than this.

I removed the icon from my accessible apps on my phone on Friday afternoon and headed into the weekend.

Here’s what happened:

  • I noticed that J has a really hairy back. Like really hairy. Blond, hairy beast.
  • I breathed deeper. Have you ever noticed you hold your breath when you’re scrolling or waiting for a webpage to load?
  • I talked to not one, but two moms at T’s ballet class
  • I’m halfway through reading this. Which is inspiring me to keep disengaging from Facebook and general time-wasting online activities.
  • I colored, in this, and didn’t freak out when the kids wanted to color in it too….OUTSIDE of the lines!
  • I was bored! At stoplights, in line at Target
  • The kids had an unobstructed view of my face and not my eyelids from looking down on the phone
  • I learned I want to open the F-book and scroll when I’m feeling grumpy

Before you’re all like, “whoah, she didn’t check Facebook all weekend!” please know I cheated twice.

First, to get an address for an event, and second, when I got in line at the drive-thru bank and it was six cars deep…on a Sunday, the walk up was locked, it was hot and I was pissy.

I’m not going to go as far and say I’m quitting Facebook. Let’s not get crazy now. But I am setting healthy limits.

Cause I got shit to do.

What will you notice when you stop scrolling for a weekend?

 

PS – I’ve intentionally disabled comments. So you can toss your phone aside and go do something else. 

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

The Working Mom Gap

 

 

The kind of working mother you are.

Vs.

The kind of working mother you want to be.

You want to be the working mom that goes on school field trips, bakes cookies for the bake sale, goes to all the soccer practices, makes a home cooked organic meal lovingly crafted with produce from your garden, rocks 4 inch heels, gets her hair trimmed on schedule, pays all the bills on time, socks money away in savings, has a firm ass, goes on 5 star vacations and has the adoration of her kids, her husband and her boss.

Reality?

You’re the working mom who goes on one field trip a year (if that – and it’s only because you wanted to visit the planetarium anyway), buys cookies from the store for the bake sale if you actually remember, you go to soccer games but miss practice, you cook at home a few times a week, go out for dinner the rest. You have a “garden” full of beautiful plants, they might be weeds. You embrace flat shoes, trim your own hair when it gets unbearably scraggly, have $26 in savings, dreams of a firm ass – or might be able to call it firm if you flex it hard enough. You staycation and have the adoration of your kids, your husband and your boss.

 

See what happened there?

Your husband, kids and boss still adore you. (wink)

They don’t give a rats ass about the kind of person you want to be.

They only care about the person you are…right now, and that you’re there.

That you show up and wear your hat. Your mom hat, your wife hat, your amazing PowerPoint presenter hat.

So what do you do when the vision you hold for yourself is so far from reality it makes your heart hurt?

 

You adjust your vision, your reality, or both.

Want to grow a garden but are lacking time, or just don’t know where to start? Get your veggies from your local farmer’s market, plant one herb in a pot, and feel damn good about it.

Ask your kid how soccer practice was. Then look him in the eye, drop your smartphone and listen to him through the whole story of how he kicked the ball, scored on the coach. Listen until he’s done.

Do 10 squats every morning while you brush your teeth. Instant firm ass….even if it’s just padded.

Make no changes, and make peace with reality. The people you care about love you.

Make a tiny tweak to one area of your life at a time. Feel good about it.

Redefine what good means to you. Feel good about it.

Remember, you don’t need to be the best wife / mom / employee in the world. Feel good about who you are, today.

Close the gap.

 

What tweak will you make today to close the gap between being the person you are and the person you want to be?

10 reasons why having kids + a job rocks

 

Being a mom can be hard.

Being a stay at home mom can be hard.

Being a working mom can be hard.

Consensus – it can all be hard.

If we let it.

I’ve never loved the term, “working mom”, because all mom’s work. Having a kid is work from the second you start growing that little bean.

For almost seven years of my professional life, I’ve done it while being a mom. I have minimalist hacks to share with you. I plan on putting them into a book, that I’m writing….TODAY!

Today, I’m not talking about struggle. Let that shit go.

Instead, I’m going to share with you 10 reasons why having kids + a job rocks.

Top 10 reasons why I love having kids and a job

  1. Quiet car rides
  2. Talking to grown ups
  3. Using different brain-parts
  4. Work is more relaxing than mom-ing all day
  5. If my husband lost his job we wouldn’t be eating cat food (well, right away anyway)
  6. I want my kids to see their mother do work she enjoys outside of housework
  7. Kids are the BEST excuse for taking sick days (whether they’re sick or not). “Kid is sick, not coming in today”. No need to make up elaborate stories about bad lamb chops.
  8. Paychecks
  9. A great excuse when I need hubs to pick up the slack with the kids, “honey, I have to work tonight, can you put the kids to bed?”
  10. Giving my kids a super gigantic hug at the end of the day

Why do you love the job + mom role?

start with the truth

Got a difficult email to write? Start with the truth.

Boss asked you to write the marketing department and tell them they’re not going to get their new features? Start with the truth.

Need to back out of making 48 cookies for the bake sale? Start with the truth.

Need to quit your job? Start with the truth.

Want to say no to the big deal? Start with the truth.

Dying to tell the handsome fella you’ve been seeing for a few months that you love him? Start with the truth.

 

Okay, so start with the truth, then what?

Start with the truth, then edit. 

This is my best writing advice for writing hard things.

Take a breath [or 10], clear your brain cobwebs and just let the truth pour out. Don’t edit as you write. Let it all fall out.

When you’re done, revisit and edit. Step away. Edit 5 minutes later, an hour later, or after a week. Whatever it takes.

Pro tip: if it’s an email, populate the recipient email address after you’ve finished the message.

just say balls

 

 

When walking to my car [ahem, minivan racecar] after work I heard some young medical students talking behind me. A young guy, mid-twenties maybe was telling a story to two girls as they walked towards the el [Chicago for subway].

“I had this patient the other day, a male, about 25.”

First, I thought it was funny how he described his patient as male, 25. It sounded so very medical-ish.

“I asked him if he had any testicular pain.” He continued.

“What’s a testicular?” The patient asked.

“Testicles.” The pre-med dude said.

“What are testicles?” asked the patient, not understanding what the doctor was referring to.

 

What the student said next is what baffled me.

“I wanted to tell the guy, YOUR BALLS DUDE, YOUR BALLS! But I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to say “BALLS”…. so I had to ask.” He finally said.

 

As he said this my eyeballs popped out of my head. Of course the med students couldn’t see me because I was ahead of them by this point.

Let me ask you this.

Do you want to live in a world where you need permission to say BALLS?

BALLS, BALLS, BALLS, BALLS, BALLS, BALLS, BALLS, BALLS, BALLS!!!!!!

Do you want to hear professionals use big words and jargoned-up speak?

Or do you want to hear plain language?

Do you think big words with oodles of syllables make you sound smart?

Are you worried what people will think of you if you write with simple words?

Will they think you dumbed it down? Will they think you’re dumb?

Absolutely fucking not.

Writing clearly and simply makes your reader’s life easier. They have to do less work to decode your message.

They get to save their precious brain power for their own work. Not for reading your sentences.

Day made.

 

If you can’t write something clearly, there’s a chance you’re dumb. Simplify the message. Move on.

Don’t write for your friends, write for your audience. Always.

 

 

most people think a vacation will fix this

When you need a vacation, you might need a new life instead.

“Who’s excited to go back to Chicago?” Ry asked as we sipped our Starbucks at the Tampa airport gate.

Spoiler alert: no one was excited.

Well, the kids were excited to see their cat.

“This just feels so wrong!” I blurted out. I couldn’t help it.

“We’re coming back from vacation.”

“Why does it have to feel so shitty?”

A vacation will only make you feel better for a little while. Kinda like that piece of chocolate cake.

I want to live the kind of life I don’t need a vacation from. Is that a pipe dream? Is it possible?

Can I find the kind of enjoyment I find in vacation in everyday life?

Can I do this in my current job?

Can I do this where I live right now?

 

If you went through these questions and the answer was no, no, no. Will this turn into a life of:
“When I [do the thing, get the job, the money,], I can enjoy my life.

Well, what If you don’t?

Memento mori.

Memento mori is Latin for remember death.

It’s not meant to be morbid or scary. A simple reminder to remember. Kind of like remembering the milk.

What if I die?

Well, this is not really an “if” question. It’s a when. Last I checked the death rate was hovering right around 100%. 

I’m not suggesting we live our lives in a way that we live with reckless abandon, quit our jobs and stay home watching soap operas and drinking a bottle of wine all by yourself. [I totally won’t judge if you do].

 

What I am suggesting, is you show up. Fully, completely, balls-out, SHOW UP.

This is damn hard. Try 5 minutes. Show up for 5 minutes of your day. See if you can find just an inkling of “okay, this is cool” in those shitty moments.

Standing in line.

Annoyed by a lame customer service rep.

When the waiter brings you regular pasta when you asked for gluten-free.

If you think about the end of your life, how will this change this very, agitated, hair-pulling moment?

How will you memento mori today?

art courtesy of https://joaomalaquias.wordpress.com

don’t make this mistake when watching a sunset

 

 

 

This.

Sunset_a-holes

I’m writing this to you from Treasure Island, Florida. The meeting place of Ry and I. It all started right here 13 years ago. Well, actually it started here.

I promise to tell you the story of how we met very soon. You’ll find it quite entertaining, especially Ry’s version.

After a long day of traveling – a day that started at 3 am, followed by parking lot yelling [mostly me], and a 3-year old who refused to carry her own luggage, we dropped the kids off at Grandma’s and bolted out the door to enjoy a kid-free, fuss-free dinner where Ry proceeded to devour a steak that was really meant for two people. There was no free t-shirt involved, or a free anything.

Halfway through the jumbo sea scallop appetizer, I reminded him that we have not watched a Treasure Island sunset together in all these years! WTF? 

All 13 of these years.

I begged him to sit on the beach and enjoy the sunset with me.

He didn’t want to go. He whined. A lot.

“I’m tired.”

“I don’t want to get all sandy.”

WAAAAHHHHHH

I dismissed his whining with a wave of my hand and said, “Shut up, you’re watching the sunset with me. Let’s go.”

And off we went.

As far as sunsets go, it was nice. A flurry of red, orange, pink and yellow made their graceful appearance across the baby blue sky. It was relaxing, calm, and serene, complete with the warm salty breeze you’d expect to mess up your hair as it blew off the Gulf. Because, sexy beach hair.

It was a sunset that made you feel all the feels that sunsets are supposed to make you feel.

DON’T DO THIS…

As we sat on the bench, we noticed dozens of people were rushing out to catch the same sunset. Except these people had a slightly different viewing experience.

They had their smartphones in hand, ready to take a selfie as if their lives depended on thumbing that little camera icon with nothing more than a flinch.

Thanks to Facebook and Twitter I have tendencies to think in 140-character status updates. I wondered what the selfie-takers were saying.

“I was here, look at me, I’m the kind of person that watches sunsets….and brings my phone because…the internet.”

Lovers were standing next to each other, both of them with their phones in hand snapping pics of the sunset.

Families were sitting together with one parent  ignoring their kids and taking pictures of the sunset.

Important lesson: YOUR PHONE WILL NEVER CAPTURE THE ESSENCE OF A SUNSET. NEVER. 

It may create a reminder for you of the sunset you watched that one time in Treasure Island. But you will miss the feeling. 

Next time, I dare you…watch the fucking sunset.

 

 

how to have a ridiculously sexy (but classy) airport kind of hug

You haven’t seen your husband (sub for wife, partner, etc. of your choice) for like two weeks. Twelve days and seven and a half hours to be exact, but who’s counting? It’s been a long few weeks. You miss him. You’ve been replaying the moment where you get to see him again. Over, and over in your mind.

His plane touched down. You know this because you’re stalking the airport arrival screen at the airport like the fat kid and the ice cream truck. You also subscribed to flight status notifications and have been checking it all day, more than Facebook.

Arrived.

This means he’ll make his appearance very soon. I wonder how long it will take him to go to the bathroom? I hope he doesn’t stop for a snack or anything.

Like at a concert when the lights go off, everything is quiet. Your mind is quiet. You quickly scan everyone’s faces as they glide down the red carpet of airport arrivals.

You spot him.

Smile.

Sigh.

You meet him halfway. Drop your bags and throw your arms around him, breathing in the scent of his neck. Like musk and marshmallows. For 30 seconds you’re the only two people in the universe, and the only two that matter.

Right now.

Some people dread the airport. They haaate it. I get it. It’s easy to complain about pushy people in the Southwest open seating line, delays, diversions, and the the never-ending fun of the comedy routine that is the TSA security check point.

If this sounds like you, I invite you to shift your focus to another part of the airport – the arrivals. 

In the airport arrival “holding” area, where people anxiously await the arrival of someone they love, and miss the crap out of, they all look happy, hopeful and totally present.

They carry flowers.

They brush their hair.

They’re wearing lip gloss.

And deodorant.

 

They’re focused.

In that split second, when they catch a glimpse of the special person they were waiting for.

What happens next is magic. And the most fun to watch. When I was at the airport a few weeks ago picking up my sister, I happily told her I’d get there early and would wait inside for her – so I could airport-hug-watch!

Hugs that are vise-grip tight, like a squeeze of the $30 bottle of face cream you refuse to waste a drop of.

Eyes closed, won’t let go.

Face grabbing kisses (save the French kiss for later, s’il vous plaît.)

Compliments. You look soooo goooood!

There’s so much joy in the arrivals area, maybe airports should share the arrival love in the departures area. Maybe the departures could stream a live feed of the arrivals, instead of the news.

Delayed another 30 minutes? Watch these people hug the shit out of each other. Warm fuzzies.

What if when the love of your life comes home tonight you surprised them with an airport kind of greeting?

Well, they might wonder what’s wrong with you. Or worry about what you did. If Ryan did this to me, I’d wonder if there was a new Harley in the garage, or a new animal on it’s way.

Weirdness aside, I promise, if you try it, you’re making a bold move. You’ll put yourself out there. And you know what? You’ll be okay.

Today, greet someone you love like you’re having an airport reunion, just for the hell of it.